How is rehabilitation used to treat dystonia?

Treatment for dystonia is very individual, and a combination of medical and complementary therapies may be required. Rehabilitation therapies, for example physical therapy and occupational therapy, can help people feel and function as well as possible. Ideally, the therapist should have background that includes neurological disorders and movement disorders.

Physical, occupational, speech, and nutrition therapy can all be helpful to people with dystonia. Adaptive and augmentative equipment can help people communicate effectively, remain mobile, and ensure their safety. Rehabilitation specialists will:

  • Evaluate muscle strength and motor skills and develop an individualized program to maintain existing motor function.
  • Recommend devices including neck supports, canes, walkers, and wheelchairs and equipment for the home to ensure safety and mobility.
  • Discuss ways to modify activities, conserve energy, and simplify work.

Some people with dystonia find that complementary therapies such as yoga, meditation, Pilates, biofeedback, and acupuncture are also helpful.

Continue Learning about Dystonia


When your muscles contract involuntarily, the condition is called dystonia. Dystonia causes a twisting or clenching of whatever body part is affected. For example, when you have a stroke, the affected arm and hand may be clenched ...

and held in a strange position. Dystonia can be very mild or very severe. It can make your life very difficult and this can lead to frustration, depression or anxiety. See your doctor to treat your symptoms and talk over your frustrations.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.